“How often do you find that you need to go to trial? When you’re negotiating with an insurance company, how often do they settle? How often do you go to trial? And, which is better?”
It is hard to say if there is any one way that is better than the other, as every situation is different. It is not the lawyer who determines whether or not to settle; it’s whether or not the amount of money the individual who suffered or was injured in the accident is okay with settling for – It just depends on the circumstances on the accident and what’s at stake. The often used statement or saying is that “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”
If an insurance company is offering a certain amount of money, it’s up to the individual to decide whether it’s enough money or whether they want to risk that at trial. Most of the time these matters settle because of the risk to the insurance company and the risk to the individuals going to trial and potentially having a defense brought against them. But, it’s all subject to what the insurance company is offering, and if it’s too low or not acceptable, then you have to go to trial, and in my experience the cases that go to trial or the liability issues when you can’t decide who is at fault, the insurance company is adamant that their driver didn’t cause the accident or wasn’t at fault in the accident, and so there’s a question of fault. In effect, this is where the two parties – the insurance companies and the injured individual – have a disagreement on the amount of damages, and they are too far apart to reach a compromise.